Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Simple Beef Stroganoff

I go through food phases. I have always had strong aversions and cravings for foods. I have no idea why but there will be times I HAVE TO HAVE _______ and if you offered me _______ I'd gag even though I loved it. I know. It's weird. Can you imagine how bad it was when I was pregnant!? Anywhoozle, not long ago I woke up and said "I must have Stroganoff". Apparently I was craving mushrooms and something creamy. 

So I went to my favorite and most trusted cookbook The Joy of Cooking. I use this often, my mom uses it, my grandmother used it and maybe even her mom. So it's a good cookbook. 
I scanned their recipe and made a few twists of my own so here are two options for an EASY and scrumptious dinner! 

Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff

1lb lean ground hamburger
1 sm package of mushrooms, chopped
beef bouillon (I like Better Than Bouillon that comes in a jar vs the cubes)
2-4 Tbs sour cream
1-2 Tbs garlic paste (or 1-2 minced garlic cloves)
1-2 Tbs corn starch
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive Oil (EVOO)
Egg noodles (thin preferably) 

  1. In a pot or large sauce pan (I use my cast iron pot), over medium heat add a Tbs or two of EVOO and begin browning the hamburger. Once it is partially browned, add the mushrooms. It's important to use lean ground beef because you don't drain the juices and you don't want tons of fat in the sauce. 
  2. Add 2-4 TBS of beef bouillon and 1-2 Tbs garlic paste to the mixture and continue to cook until mushrooms are reduced to about half their size and the meat is browned. 
  3. Because I like a gravy consistency for my sauce, I like to add water and cornstarch to the mixture. Add 1/2-3/4 cup of water that has been mixed with 1-2 Tbs of cornstarch (flour will also work). When you add it, be sure to mix diligently so it doesn't clump. 
  4. You'll notice the mixture starting to thicken. You can add more or less water and cornstarch depending on what consistency you want your sauce to be and how much you need. If you need it to stretch because you're feeding a crowd, add more water/cornstarch and also add a little more beef bouillon for flavor. 
  5. Let simmer for 10-15 min so flavors can mesh. While this is happening, cook your egg noodles according to package instructions. 
  6. Add 2-4 Tbs of sour cream to the sauce. You want it to be a light brown color in the end. 
  7. Add salt and pepper to your liking. 
  8. Drain noodles and top with sauce. I prefer putting the noodles in each bowl and topping with sauce versus mixing it one big bowl. 
  9. Garnish with a little Parmesan cheese and a lemon wedge (the lemon helps bring a little acidity to the creamy sauce)

Rich Man's Beef Stroganoff 

In this version, instead of using ground hamburger, you can use leftover steak or grill a steak (any type will do) to medium rare. This happens to be my absolute favorite use of leftover steak (thanks for the tip mom!). So much so that I may even grill an extra piece next time just to use in stroganoff. 

  1. Cut grilled steak in to bite size pieces
  2. Saute mushrooms in EVOO until slightly reduced 
  3. Add steak, beef bouillon and garlic paste to the mixture then follow steps 3-9 from the Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff recipe
It's important not to overcook the beef in this version so it's not tough, which is why I suggest medium rare steak if possible. If not, it still works, the meat will just be a little more dry/tough. 

I'm already salivating over the thought of another scrumptious meal of Rich Man's Beef Stroganoff. I have steaks in the freezer for just such an occasion! 

Bon Appetit! 

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